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Jan 30th 2019 at 9:07:55 PM

Well if nobody minds...

I have been going through the Animated Short Film list. First haphazardly, and lately in chronological order filling in the gaps.

The first thing that jumps out at me is how Looney Tunes is sorely underrepresented, and more to the point, represented by the wrong cartoons. The work page for "Birds Anonymous" notes correctly that it is the only cartoon that won an Oscar for Animated Short Film and also appears on The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes. Most of what people would probably think of when they think of the all-time best Warner Brothers cartoons—"Duck Amuck", "What's Opera Doc", "One Froggy Evening", and the one where Sylvester goes to hell a lot when chasing Tweety—were not even nominated. The ones that were nominated were mostly second-tier stuff.

The second thing that jumps out is how much Oscar loved Tom and Jerry.

Edited by jamespolk on Jan 30th 2019 at 9:12:11 AM

Jan 31st 2019 at 3:12:59 AM

Mmm...what was nominated in the years the "classics" weren't even on the list?

I am not into Looney tunes at all, but when it came to honour the best of the Disney Shorts, the Academy did a pretty good job...but then, the best of the Disney shorts were released in the golden age...

Feb 1st 2019 at 3:48:41 PM

[up]Disney films were nominated a lot, as one might expect. Tom and Jerry were nominated thirteen years in a row, and I think seven of them won.

Looney Tunes didn't start getting Oscar nods until the 1940s, which in fairness is when the studio picked up its game. "For Scent-imental Reasons" won, and it's pretty funny, although you might have problems running any Pepe LePew cartoons in this our new age of wokeness.

In other news I watched 1966 Oscar winner A Man for All Seasons. Kind of dull, frankly. A lot of serious historians seem to be vaguely embarrassed by the soap opera aspects of writing about King Henry VIII and his wives, but that's more entertaining than watching Thomas More being stiff as a board; nonstop moral rectitude does not make for very good drama. John Hurt is entertaining as the weaselly Richard Rich. But all in all watching the movie made me want to tell Thomas More to get the fuck over himself and support the king's divorce, which is probably not the desired response.

Aldo930 Professional Moldy Fig/Curmudgeon from Quahog, R.I.
Professional Moldy Fig/Curmudgeon
Feb 1st 2019 at 4:22:39 PM

Oddly enough, the character that was in the most Oscar-nominated Looney Tunes shorts was Speedy Gonzales.

UPA was nominated a number of times in the 50s, when they were the big thing in animation, and three times they won - for Gerald Mc Boing Boing and two Magoo shorts.

Edited by Aldo930 on Feb 1st 2019 at 4:23:38 AM

"They say I'm old fashioned, and live in the past, but sometimes I think progress progresses too fast."
Feb 1st 2019 at 4:29:35 PM

[up]Yup, the first Speedy Gonzales cartoon, "Speedy Gonzales", was one of only four Looney Tunes to win, along with the aforementioned Pepe Le Pew and Sylvester cartoons, and "Knighty Knight Bugs".

Edited by jamespolk on Feb 1st 2019 at 4:31:55 AM

TompaDompa from Sweden
Feb 2nd 2019 at 7:25:37 PM

Watched Lola, Jacques Demy's feature debut from 1961. Unlike his later films The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and The Young Girls of Rochefort, this one is in black and white and isn't a musical. I quite liked it; the film deftly juggles a Love Dodecahedron and several subplots including a smuggling operation and a teenage girl's coming of age, all in a relatively short runtime of an hour and a half. Not everything gets entirely resolved within that time, but to me that just enhanced the Slice of Life feeling and worked in the movie's favour.

Ceterum censeo Morbillivirum esse eradicandum.
Feb 2nd 2019 at 7:40:49 PM

[up]You might be interested to know that Anouk Aimee plays the same character in a 1969 American film called Model Shop, directed by Demy.

Feb 2nd 2019 at 8:35:57 PM

TCM's 31 Days Of Oscar, Feb. 6:

Back-to-back showings of two of the best World War II epics of that era, The Longest Day and Tora! Tora! Tora!. At 0415 Eastern on the 7th they're running the creepiest Best Picture winner ever, Gigi.

Aldo930 Professional Moldy Fig/Curmudgeon from Quahog, R.I.
Professional Moldy Fig/Curmudgeon
Feb 2nd 2019 at 8:37:31 PM

Though this is kind of off topic, the one Jacques Demy film I've always wanted to see is his Toho-funded adaptation of a classic Japanese manga, Lady Oscar, filmed on location in France with a European cast.

Supposedly it's really bad.

"They say I'm old fashioned, and live in the past, but sometimes I think progress progresses too fast."
Feb 2nd 2019 at 10:39:14 PM

Watching the Orson Welles Othello. I'm gonna make a page for it separate from the Shakespeare play. Excellent, but I wish it had subtitles.

Feb 2nd 2019 at 11:27:17 PM

[up][up] Well....kind of. It actually looks good and has better acting than the average "Manga to Live-Action" adaptation. But that isn't saying much, since Japanese Manga to Live-Action adaptation are usually really, really bad.

Feb 4th 2019 at 4:52:56 AM

TCM's 31 Days of Oscar, Feb. 7:

Prison movies, including what for my money are two of the best films of the pre-Code era, namely The Big House and I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang. The latter having what remains one of the best endings of all time. Later that night, All About Eve, which hasn't lost a thing in 70 years.

LongTallShorty64 Frumpy and grumpy Relationship Status: What is this thing you call love?
Frumpy and grumpy
Feb 4th 2019 at 8:44:35 AM

[up] All those are great. I think I am a Fugitive has the biggest impact than Big House but, really, both movies are grim and gritty tales. The surprise really comes from Big House though. A story like that is Warner Bros' wheelhouse but for MGM? It's an interesting outlier.

"It's true that we had a gentleman's agreement, but unfortunately, I am no gentleman."
TompaDompa from Sweden
Feb 4th 2019 at 11:49:06 AM

Watched Kon Ichikawa's The Burmese Harp from 1956. It's about Japanese soldiers in Burma in August 1945. I really liked it; it very effectively portrays the horrors of war, or more specifically the aftermath, with Survivor's Guilt and so on. The visuals are harrowing and the music beautiful.

Ceterum censeo Morbillivirum esse eradicandum.
Feb 5th 2019 at 9:33:16 AM

[up]The Burmese Harp was excellent. Quite moving. I like movies that show World War II from the Japanese perspective.

Nominated for the Foreign Language Film Oscar the first year the award was competitive, lost to La Strada.

Finished the Orson Welles Othello and it deserves all the praise it gets. Just incredibly stylish and dynamic. The Turkish bath sequence where Roderigo gets murdered is amazing.

Feb 5th 2019 at 9:38:31 AM

31 Days of Oscar, Feb. 8:

  • Tom Jones. I may have to make a work page for that movie just to make it distinct from the novel that's listed under a different title. It's one of the better Best Picture winners of the 1960s, which is unfortunately faint praise as Oscar did a bad job during that decade.

  • The Great Dictator. The rest of Charlie Chaplin's talkies are underwhelming, but this one is a legit classic. It might have been even better if he had gone with his original concept and made the Jewish barber segments silent with the Tramp, but it's still great.

  • In the wee hours of the 9th they're doing a pretty great New Hollywood double feature with Bonnie and Clyde and Dog Day Afternoon.

Feb 5th 2019 at 12:29:28 PM

Nathan Rabin is doing a Sam Peckinpah retrospective at his website; most of them will fall out of our time frame, but he just did an excellent write up of Ride the High Country.

Broke the redirect and made a work page for Tom Jones. The movie runs in a couple of days and I will flesh the page out then.

Watching The Enchanted College and it is suffering from serious Hollywood Homely. Dorothy McGuire actually called "homely" when all she's doing is not wearing makeup. Robert Young acting like Quasimodo because he's got a barely visible facial scar (and to be fair a lame arm).

Edited by jamespolk on Feb 6th 2019 at 11:43:59 AM

Feb 6th 2019 at 11:47:14 AM

31 Days of Oscar, Feb. 9:

Biopics. The Great Ziegfeld is pretty dull but Yankee Doodle Dandy is hugely entertaining even if it bears little resemblance to the life of George M. Cohan. Love that scene where he's at a piano puzzling out the notes to "Over There" and then it cuts to some lady with big lungs belting it out at a war rally.

Then In the Heat of the Night which I watched a while back, and which ages surprisingly well.

Feb 6th 2019 at 3:35:09 PM

Yup, I'm gonna skip making a work page for The Enchanted College. It would work better if they'd tried harder to make McGuire look legitimately homely. Or maybe gotten really daring and cast two different actresses.

31 Days of Oscar, Feb. 10: "Travel movies", and frankly another weak list from what is, overall, a weak lineup for the whole marathon. One of the worst Best Picture winners in the David Niven version of Around the World in 80 Days. They do have The Thin Man later.

Tarlonniel Superfan from Metropolis Relationship Status: Tweaking my holographic boyfriend
Feb 6th 2019 at 4:42:10 PM

I love Around the World in 80 Days (1956), especially the cameos. So. Many. Cameos. And Cantinflas!

I see they're also playing Royal Wedding, Lassie Come Home and Mrs. Miniver that day. Hopefully the winter storm blowing through won't take out my power so I can enjoy them all. [tup]

Gone to Faerie, no forwarding address.
Feb 7th 2019 at 10:08:04 AM

31 Days of Oscar, Feb. 11:

Showbiz movies. This would have been a good day to run The Artist. Probably the best film on the list is The Bad and the Beautiful, although it's still not clear how Gloria Grahame got a supporting actress Oscar for a role that brief.

Singin' in the Rain is on in the early morning of the 12th.

Aldo930 Professional Moldy Fig/Curmudgeon from Quahog, R.I.
Professional Moldy Fig/Curmudgeon
Feb 7th 2019 at 3:19:39 PM

[up][up][up][up] That movie, inaccurate though it may be, is - I think - the only reason there's even a statue of him standing in downtown Providence, where he was born. It's recent, but it's nice to see people acknowledging one of the great songwriters of the ragtime era.

[up][up] You know Cantinflas was so popular in Mexico he had his own cartoon? He's incredibly beloved there, but in America, well, we never "got" him.

Edited by Aldo930 on Feb 7th 2019 at 3:21:23 AM

"They say I'm old fashioned, and live in the past, but sometimes I think progress progresses too fast."
Feb 7th 2019 at 3:35:22 PM

I'd like to see more old Mexican movies. I'd like to see that astronaut movie that gets a shout-out in Roma.

Aldo930 Professional Moldy Fig/Curmudgeon from Quahog, R.I.
Professional Moldy Fig/Curmudgeon
Feb 7th 2019 at 3:52:51 PM

The most entertaining Mexican movies I've seen are the horror films, the ones K. Gordon Murray brought over, crappily dubbed and sold to drive-ins. Santo vs. the Vampire Women, stuff like that.

Old Mexican kids' films from the sixties are, amazingly enough, equally as mindbending and terrifying. If you haven't seen Little Red Riding Hood and the Monsters, frankly, you should.

"They say I'm old fashioned, and live in the past, but sometimes I think progress progresses too fast."

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